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New Zealand’s most respected agricultural business is into sustainability, big time. Norwood is kicking off a business wide change, focusing on new systems and processes as well as making significant changes to the way the business is structured. CEO Tim Myers is clear about the need for a shift in the way the business operates.

“We’re responding to changes in the primary sector. Our customers and staff are asking for us to lead conversations and commentary on the different parts of agriculture in New Zealand. Innovation is now business as usual, and our customers look to us to provide leadership and guidance”.

“We’re also getting feedback that the business relationships between generations are really important. As farmers retire and hand farms down to the next generation, they’re looking for partnerships with providers like Norwood that are enduring, where our teams know their businesses and what drives them. At Norwood, we talk a lot about keeping farmers moving, the nuance of that is making sure we know what direction they want to move in”.

Myers is moving at pace. He believes the gate is wide open for New Zealand to be the world leader in sustainable, consumer-led agriculture production, and that Norwood has a leadership role to play in this. Gate to plate is one space he has in his sights.

“There’s a huge opportunity internationally for New Zealand agriculture. We can demonstrate with absolute confidence the connection between farmers and global consumers and connect both groups to increasingly efficient and sophisticated supply chains. It’s a good news story and adds value to farmers, consumers and the economy.”

The change process has already begun and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Myers expects the change to deliver more technical leadership in the business and for the sector, and to make decision making at a local level, easier and more efficient. As many businesses increase reporting lines and manage risk with levels of approvals, Myers is moving in the opposite direction.

“We have great people at Norwood. We need to make sure they can use their expertise to respond to customer needs, whether that is in the field, in the dealership or at one of our support locations. I trust our people to make the right decisions, so we’re putting the resources around them so they can get on with doing just that. I want Norwood staff to be able to make a decision based on their expertise, not check with layers of management all day”.

It sounds as though there’s a lot going on at Norwood, but that’s the way Myers likes it.

“I’m really excited about what’s heading our way in the sector. We’re uniquely positioned to help New Zealand agriculture maintain the trust and confidence of all New Zealander’s. Often, those in the agricultural sector are criticised as being the big bad polluters. What the agricultural sector knows well is that we care deeply and act fast to take care of our land, because healthy land equals a healthy business. We love helping farmers to do that and we want to play our part in changing the New Zealand agriculture narrative”.